Kerry looks to soothe relations with Germany

 

Secretary of State John Kerry is set to meet with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on the sidelines of Iran nuclear talks in Vienna over the weekend, according to The Associated Press

Steinmeier said he would seek to reinvigorate the relationship "on an honest basis" during the talk, which comes shortly after the top U.S. intelligence official was told to leave Germany after reports of Germans spying for the U.S.

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The foreign minister said asking the U.S. intelligence officer to leave the embassy was the right decision — "a necessary step and an appropriate reaction to the breach of trust that has taken place."

Though he called the reports "troubling," he said the partnership with the United States must remain strong and based on "mutual respect."

"We want to reinvigorate our partnership, our friendship on an honest basis — we in any case are prepared to do that," he said. "And that will be the message I will give to my American colleague."

The United States had already received criticism after reports last year that the National Security Agency had listened in on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone, which the administration has vowed not to do again. 

The White House has not commented on the latest reports that the CIA was obtaining information from German agents, but it has emphasized its alliance with the country.